When it comes to sushi, Ginza is the place to be. It is no secret that it is a hotspot for a long list of restaurants run by sushi masters. Michelin-starred or otherwise, dining at these premium sushi bars are culinary experiences in the to-do list of many visitors to Japan. Getting a reservation may be difficult and the price tag hefty, but the food bliss is one of a kind and definitely worth it.
On the other hand, foodies who are not too keen on splurging won’t get disappointed either. Casual sushi bars in Ginza deliver on quality and ambiance at reasonable prices, making sushi dining not as intimidating.
The range of choices in Ginza for sushi is really overwhelming. In reality, there are just too many good options. But if we were to pick the best ones for each price range, here’s our recommended list:
A word of advice: Most, if not all, luxury sushi restaurants are by reservation only. You have to ask your hotel or a local to get you a schedule months in advance. For some establishments, a credit card is also required for booking.
Sushi Mizutani (鮨 水谷)
Behind the counters of high-end sushi restaurants are master chefs that will serve you the finest sushi you’ll ever taste in your life, and behind every heavenly bite are years of learning the craft and dedicated practice. In the case of Chef Mizutani, his experience in the field spans more than 50 years; first as an apprentice to top chef Jiro Ono then eventually running his own shop. He has surely carved a name for himself with his restaurant currently holding a 2-star Michelin rating.
Address: 9F Juno Ginza Seiwa Building, 8-7-7 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Price: ¥20,000 ~ ¥29,999
Website: http://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1301/A130103/13016524/ (Japanese only)
Sushi Kanesaka Ginza (鮨かねさか 銀座本店)
Many foreign diners find the rather reserved atmospheres of high-end sushi places quite intimidating. If you belong to this bunch, Sushi Kanesaka is the sushi joint for you. The chefs here are well-versed in English and are very candid with guests. With the language barrier out of the way, it opens up more opportunities to gain more understanding of the items being served to you. Hence, taking the sushi experience to another level.
Address: B1F Misuzu Building 8 Chome-10-3 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Price: ¥20,000 ~ ¥29,999
Sushi Yoshitake (鮨よしたけ)
Sushi Yoshitake is one of the only three sushi restaurants in Tokyo awarded with the highest Michelin rating of 3 stars. At the same time, it consistently ranks high in Tabelog’s list of sushi joints in Tokyo, which basically means it’s also loved by the locals. Gaining unanimous praises, there shouldn’t be any doubt that what’s being served here is phenomenal. The Omakase (chef’s choice) set menu course lasts about 2 hours, and if you happen to dine here, perhaps your time spent here is going to be the most memorable ones of your trip.
Address: 3F Suzuryu Building 8-7-19 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Price: ¥20,000 ~ ¥29,999
Helmed by the young and talented Chef Ichiyanagi, this relatively new restaurant is one of Tokyo’s up and coming restaurants. It is popular for serving unusual pieces including the rare item Ankimo (monkfish liver) and for tuna lovers, Ichiyanagi’s pieces are considered to be exceptionally good.
Address: 1F Ginza Kosumion Building, 1-5-14 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Price: ¥20,000 ~ ¥29,999
Website: http://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1301/A130101/13156961/ (Japanese only)
If there’s a further ranking among premium sushi restaurants, Sawada occupies the top tier. This tiny sushi bar run by a husband and wife team is famous for how Chef Sawada ages his tuna, his non-use of modern appliances, and the high quality of his entire repertoire. The ambiance is intimate and despite not being fluent, the restaurant’s dynamic duo tries their best to keep a conversation with their diners. With the best food to offer and personable hospitality, the overall experience in this top establishment is most definitely well worth the splurge.
Address: 3F MC Building, 5-9-19 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Price: ~ ¥30,000
Website: http://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1301/A130101/13001043/ (Japanese only)
Casual dining sushi
Sushi feasts can also be enjoyed in casual settings. The service may not be as personal and the food may not be prepared by the expert hands of a sushi master, but if value for money without compromising quality is your basic aim, then you’ll be happy with these choices:
Umegaoka Sushi No Midori (梅丘寿司の美登利)
Umegaoka Sushi No Midori is a popular sushi restaurant chain with 8 stores in Tokyo. The concept is simple: fancy sushi at reasonable prices. There are platters to choose from and a la carte dishes too. The dining area is spacious and is perfect for groups, most especially for families with kids. This one in Ginza seats 82 people at a time. Reservations are not taken so do expect long lines on weekends and peak hours.
Address: 7 Chome-2 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Price: ¥3,000 ~ ¥3,999
Shari The Tokyo Sushi Bar (シャリザトウキョウスシバー)
Shari The Tokyo Sushi Bar offers a modern take on the sushi dining experience from its interpretation of the dish to its general atmosphere. The stars of the menu are the creative sushi rolls that vary in ingredients and colors. On the side are other Japanese dishes and more fusion recipes. To complement the progressive approach to the food, the interiors are likewise sophisticatedly designed that you might mistake it for a swanky Western-style dining place.
Address: 8F Albore Ginza Building, 2-4-18 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Price: ¥5,000 ~ ¥5,999
Website: http://restaurant.novarese.jp/shari-ginza/ (Japanese only)
Ginza Sushi Marui (銀座寿司処 まる伊)
Not cheap but not too expensive either. Sushi Marui located in the backstreets of Ginza serves only the freshest items from Tsukiji Market. On the menu are sushi, sashimi, and chirashi (sashimi rice bowl). It is also popular among salarymen and office ladies for their affordable lunch sets.
Address: 3-8-15, Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo
Price: ¥6,000 ~ ¥7,999
Sushizanmai SL Hirobamae (すしざんまい新橋SL広場前)
Sushizanmai is the famous casual sushi restaurant. With plenty of seats, counter and tables, welcome every generation and every types of customers including those of you with little children. Good point also is that this branch is open 24hours everyday! The best place to fulfill your sudden sushi crave at midnight.
Address: 2 Chome-9-4 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Price: ¥4,000 ~ ¥4,999
Kaiten or conveyor belt sushi
Sushi on color-coded plates whizzing past you is the fun experience you get when dining at a Kaiten sushi bar. Take the plates you want to eat and without noticing it, there’s already a tall pile of empty dishes on your table. How much your bill is going to turn out depends on how much sushi you can handle, but with a price range of ¥100 – ¥600 per plate, you can go a long way with just a few thousand yen.
Sushi-Bar Numazuko Ginza (銀座沼津港)
Numazuko shares the same value proposition as Nemuro Hanamaru: high-quality pieces prepared by chefs, fun conveyor belt sushi experience, and affordable prices. Aside from sushi, they also serve a wide array of a la carte dishes seafood dishes. Their Uni (sea urchin) dish is quite popular – creamy raw sea urchin piled up Mt. Fuji style.
Address: 8F Kirarito Ginza Building 1-8-19, Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo
Price: ¥2,000 ~ ¥2,999
Website: http://www.numazuko-bar.com (Japanese only)
All price information in this article are as of September 2016.
Thumbnail image is from Flickr.